Football

Arsene Wenger and Alexis Sanchez.

What Arsene Wenger made Sanchez do on Thursday as Man Utd move looms

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Friday looks set to be a very busy day for Arsenal and Manchester United, especially for the former.

A swap deal involving Alexis Sanchez and Henrikh Mkhitaryan is close to completion and according to the Mirror's John Cross, it will be done before the weekend.

Whether the deal is pushed over the line before the 12pm deadline - which determines if they can play for their new clubs this weekend - is another matter, though.

"Fully expecting Sanchez and Mkhitaryan deals to be confirmed today (maybe not for 12 noon)," wrote Cross.

With Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang also closing in on a £60 million move from Borussia Dortmund, the time has come for Arsenal fans to start saying their goodbyes to Sanchez.

He's been a fantastic signing for the Gunners since joining from Barcelona in 2014, leading them to two FA Cup triumphs in 2015 and 2017.

But by joining Jose Mourinho's United, the Chilean is following the same path that Robin van Persie infamously took in 2012.

The move hasn't gone down well with Arsenal fans, who are equally as angry with Arsene Wenger for allowing another world-class player to join a Premier League rival.

Wenger has been full of praise for Sanchez ahead of his departure, saying he's been "professional" and "fully committed" amidst the rumours, but now he's taken proper action.

FBL-ENG-PR-ARSENAL-CHELSEA

According to the Times, Wenger has separated Sanchez from his soon-to-be former Arsenal teammates by making him train with the youth team.

Arsenal host Crystal Palace at the Emirates Stadium on Saturday, so it's a wise move from Wenger to remove Sanchez from the picture and allow his players to focus.

Wenger is resigned to losing Sanchez but he claims the 29-year-old's imminent departure won't hurt Arsenal fans as much as Van Persie's did six years ago.

FBL-ENG-PR-CRYSTAL PALACE-ARSENAL

"We took Van Persie when he played in the reserve team at Feyenoord," said the Frenchman. "We made a long work with him.

"When you get them there and, after they leave, that is the most painful. Our fans know Alexis will not extend - they have accepted that idea and the fact it will not be one-way traffic.

"It will be other-way traffic as well and that makes the whole thing a bit smoother, maybe a bit less disappointing.

"We lose a player, yes, but we could gain another player. I think one would replace the other."

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Topics:
Arsenal
Arsene Wenger
Premier League
Alexis Sanchez
Henrikh Mkhitaryan
Football

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